THE little-known province of Xaysomboun will be thrown into the spotlight when Laos launches Visit Xaysomboun Year in 2015, though poor tourism infrastructure threatens to hobble the campaign.
Situated near capital Vientiane, the province boasts many unexploited tourism sites and stunning natural scenery, including the cave of King Anouvong and Phou Bia, Laos’ highest mountain peak.
Xaysomboun Provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism director, Vonepadith Dalanouvong, commented: “Xaysomboun has a population of more than 81,000 people and many ethnic groups of which visitors can explore their unique traditions and customs.”
“We will build roads to connect the province with all other provinces. We also plan to build an airport to facilitate visitors and investors who are interested in coming to the province,” Sombath Yialiher, governor of Xaysomboun province, who last week signed off on the construction of three new roads from Anouvong town in the hopes of building tourist numbers by easing access.
However, Laurent Granier, general manager of Laos Mood Travel, was less optimistic, saying: “Well, it is not going to change the future of travel to Laos! The current road between Pakxan and Phonsavan is in poor state despite being newly built, and during the wet season, it is virtually impossible to venture there.”